The process to patch Exadata stack and software changed in the last years and it became easier. Now, with patchmgr to be used for all (database servers, storage cells, and switches) the process is much easier to control the steps. Here I will show the steps that are involved in this process.
Independent if it is ZDLRA or Exadata, the process for Engineering System is the same. So, this post can be used as a guide for the Exadata patch apply as well. In 2018 I already made a similar process about how to patch/upgrade Exadata to 18c (you can access here) and even made a partial/incomplete post for 12c in 2015.
The process will be very similar and can be done in rolling and non-rolling mode. In the first, the services continue to run and you don’t need to shutdown databases, but will take more time because the patchmgr applies server by server. At the second, you need to shutdown the entire GI and the patch is applied in parallel and will be faster.
The proceed to patch ZDLRA is not complicated, but as usual, some details need to be checked before starting the procedure. Since it is one engineering system based at Exadata, the procedure has one part that (maybe) needs to upgrade this stack too. But, is possible to upgrade just the recovery appliance library.
Whatever if need or no to upgrade the Exadata stack, the upgrade for recovery appliance library is the same. The commands and checks are the same. The procedure described in this post cover the upgrade of the recovery appliance library. For Exadata stack, it is in another post.
Where we are
Before even start the patch it is important to know exactly which version you are running. To do this execute the command racli version at you database node:
Recently I executed the upgrade of Oracle GI to 19c version, from 22.214.171.124 to 126.96.36.199 version. But one step that was not showed there was that, because of requirements, the GI was upgraded from 188.8.131.52 to 184.108.40.206. This upgrade is a just Release Update (RU) apply and opatchauto command.
But during this upgrade, from 18.2 to 18.6, I faced (more than one time – 5 to be precise) errors during the update because of the MGMTDB errors. I got these errors:
ORA-12514, TNS: Listener does not currently know of service requested in connect descriptor
CRS-10407: (:CLSCRED1079:)Credential domain does not exist.
Here I will show how to solve these errors, how to identify if everything was fine and if you can continue. Be careful that it is an example, always open a support SR to identify the source of the error.
Upgrade GRID infrastructure is one activity that usually is postponed because it involves a sensible area that, when not works, causes big downtime until be fixed. But, in the last versions, it is not a complicated task and if you follow the basic rules, it works without problems.
Here I will show a little example of how to upgrade the GI from 18.6.0 to 19.5. The steps below were executed at Exadata running version 220.127.116.11.0.191012 and GI 18.104.22.168, but can be done in every environment that supports Oracle GI.